Padres Scouting Report: Josh Barfield

Josh Barfield has made the toughest move in the San Diego Padres system. He is playing for the Mobile BayBears in the Southern League, known for its humidity and ability to knock the sails out of certain home runs. How he handles this year could be the true barometer of his star potential.

Playing for the Lake Elsinore Storm in 2003, Josh Barfield continued his dominance by slugging 16 homers and knocking in 128. He hit .337, had 45 doubles and his on base percentage was .389.

The performance caused many to look at him as the next prospect of note within the Padres system and with good cause.

"Josh Barfield put up some numbers that are worth taking a look at," said one NL scout. "Hitters league or not, that guy can swing it and that guy can play."

"He is a bright kid who had a high SAT score who handles himself with great composure in interviews, on and off the field," on Padres scout boasted. "The things that are away from the game, I think he is already above that. Then you throw in the pedigree. This is a guy who has been around the game, he has a great family and he has the support. His dad has been there, been a great tutor and Josh gets after it. I remember asking him about receiving the award for the Minor League Player of the Year in 2002 and he said, ‘basically I want to show that my numbers weren't a fluke and improve in all those categories.'"

"And he did," Sean McCall, broadcaster for the Storm, confirmed. "And he did it for a full season. Some might say why wasn't he in Double-A, well I will say thanks, we were glad to have him. He showed he belonged at another level. He was so consistent the whole year. This guy started with a nine game hitting streak and never stopped hitting."

Barfield went out and earned the Padres Minor League Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row with his impressive stats in Lake Elsinore.

All the accolades are impressive to date and the superstar second baseman is only 21 years old.

But his career is just beginning. Barfield still has to prove he belongs in Double-A and must show he can get past the early struggles most face when they get into the Southern League.

To date, Barfield is hitting .244 with 11 doubles, eight homers and 43 RBI's, which lead the team. He has had his ups and downs, but has hovered around the .250 area for much of the season.

Not awe inspiring numbers, but no one believes his numbers won't improve. He is one of those rare prospects that have the tools to succeed. As he starts facing teams and pitchers a second and third time, the results will begin to show.

"I know Padres fans will find out soon enough," the Padres scout said with confidence. "The thing about Josh – I believe Josh will be a total package. Obviously you can't say he is the total package right now or he would be at a higher level. He is only 20 years old and his work ethic is outstanding. His commitment to getting to the top is very strong."

Denis Savage can be reached at

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